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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/367

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AN ECHO OF CAMPAIGN OF SIXTY 359 connection with the issuance of Shell's certificate. Finally, if the House should adopt the report of the committee, the people of Oregon would be as much at a loss as before regarding the interpretation of their fundamental law. Mr. Sheil, in presenting his side of the case, held that these arguments were mere words ; that the constitution of Oregon fixed the day for the election, and he had been duly elected on that day. Moreover, the method of the poll, by which the sitting member claimed to be elected, was of such a nature that it was ridiculous to consider him properly elected; 4,099 votes cast, when the vote for president totaled some 14,500, exposed the slightness of the claim. Again, the character of the certificate received by Thayer was such as to show that the civil authorities of the state did not look upon the election as legal ; there was merely the statement that the sitting member had received so many votes as a candidate for Representative to Congress. Thaddeus Stevens offered an amendment to the report of the Committee on Elections to the effect that neither of the gentlemen was entitled to the seat, and that it should be de- clared vacant. He held that the constitution of a state might fix the time for the Congressional election first held, but that all subsequent elections should be regulated by a legislative enactment; the United States Constitution fixes this, and no other power can change. Stevens was not so liberal in his in- terpretation of the word "legislature" as was the Corvallis Union, which held that the Constitution used this word in its broadest sense, that a constitutional convention was the legis- lative authority next in power to a direct vote of the people. Stevens' amendment was rejected, nevertheless, and the report of the committee adopted ; thereupon Mr. Sheil took oath and was seated. In the meantime out in Oregon, the "Salem Clique's" pre- mature jubilation was equalled only by the scorn and invective which the Sheil adherents poured upon the heads of the leaders